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by Chris Taylor

While a graphical user interface like Windows can make things easier, sometimes it just gets in the way and makes life more difficult.

Consider if you want to send someone a list of the files in a particular folder. File Explorer doesn’t provide a way to capture a file listing to the clipboard, where you can then paste it into an email.

You can always open a cmd prompt, navigate to the folder in question, and type dir > files.txt, which sends the output of the dir command to a text file. You can then open the text file and copy the contents to the clipboard.

There are add-ins allowing you to right-click on a folder and select an option to copy the list to the clipboard. But they often have limitations regarding how the data gets captured.

Both of the above solutions only work for the file system. What if you want to capture a list of folders in your email? Or what if, as happened to me, you are in Outlook and want to capture the data in a Folder Size window. Outlook does not allow copying the data to the clipboard. The list can be quite long and the dialog box is small and not resizable, so even doing screen captures is not a practical solution.

SysExporter to the rescue! This cool little free program allows you to capture data stored in standard list-views, tree-views, list boxes, combo boxes, text-boxes, and WebBrowser/HTML controls from most Windows applications.

The program requires no installation. You just run the executable and it opens.

SysExporter shows all objects from which it can capture data. Generally, it is a confusing and long list of various programs, controls and list boxes. You can scroll through the list looking for what looks right, but a far easier method is to drag the target icon at the left edge of the toolbar to the area containing the data you want. If SysExporter can capture the data, the top pane will highlight the window’s title, the type of the object and some other technical data. The bottom pane will show the actual data.

You can export the data to a file in a number of formats of plain text, HTML, or XML. You can also copy the data to the clipboard in tab-delimited format. I find the latter to be very useful. This makes it easy to paste into a spreadsheet for further manipulation such as sorting, filtering, or formatting. For example, for the Folder Size data from Outlook, I removed the KB from each line of data, formatted the Size columns as numbers with comma separators for thousands, added KB to the header row, and sorted by the Size column. Nice!

Bottom Line:

SysExporter (Freeware)
Version 1.75

System requirements: Windows 95 through Windows 10

Originally published: January, 2017

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